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ERIC Number: ED556750
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 3
Time to English Proficiency for English Language Learners in New York City and Miami-Dade County. IESP Policy Brief No. 01-12
Conger, Dylan; Hatch, Megan; McKinney, Jessica; Atwell, Meghan Salas; Lamb, Anne
Institute for Education and Social Policy
Since the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed into law, schools have been allowed to administer grade-level content reading exams in the native language of English Language Learner (ELL) students for up to three years after they enter the school system. From that point, the students are expected to take the state assessments in English. Districts and schools that fail to demonstrate gains for ELL students on these academic exams risk penalties that range from permitting parents to transfer their children to alternative schools to closing the school entirely. Some advocates, educators, and state education agencies have complained about the federal requirements, claiming that they ignore the variation in the speed with which students learn English (Kossan, 2008; Zehr, 2007). Students may show significant progress in acquiring English, but still struggle to meet proficiency standards when tested in English on grade-level content and, thus, the policy may be unfair to those students and to the schools that serve them. This brief aims to inform the three-year time limit policy. Specifically, the authors examine the variation in the speed with which young ELL students acquire minimum proficiency in English. They use data on New York City and Miami-Dade County ELLs, focusing first on all students, then separately on subgroups of students according to their poverty status, gender, race/ethnicity, and age of entry into the school system. An appendix entitled, "Language Assessment & Study Methodology" is included.
Institute for Education and Social Policy. New York University, Joseph and Violet Pless Hall, 82 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003. Tel: 212-998-5880; Fax: 212-995-4564; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: New York University, Institute for Education and Social Policy (IESP)
Identifiers - Location: Florida; New York
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
IES Cited: ED558159; ED565624